Royal HaskoningDHV: enabling the future of Smart Cities

Royal HaskoningDHV: enabling the future of Smart Cities

01 Dec 2017 Royal HaskoningDHV South Africa took part in a number of high-level events across South Africa from the 23rd to the 29th of November 2017 with the aim of contributing towards the development of smart cities across the continent. Discussion forums were held with critical stakeholders including government, the private sector and the Netherlands Embassy in South Africa. Issues around innovation were discussed at these events and included smart water, flood resilience, mobility and smart solutions to urban challenges. 

Royal HaskoningDHV is proactively collaborating with industry partners and clients to enable innovation in projects to help support community development and engagement, attesting to its ambition of Enhancing Society Together. The company has been making a world of difference in people’s lives, in South Africa and beyond.

The first event was #CocreateMYCITY Durban, an initiative of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands to co-create sustainable, smart solutions to urban challenges in the city of Durban. This event was held on the 23rd and 24th of November where business, government and knowledge institutions came together to hold workshops and discuss Durban as a City of the Future. Royal HaskoningDHV’s KwaZulu-Natal Regional Manager, Nozuko Siyothula was part of the jury, judging Dutch and South African students’ presentations related to challenges facing eThekwini Municipality. This event was capped off with site visits to the Transnet Port and Dube Trade Port where there were further insights into sustainability initiatives and the transition to smart cities.

Monday 27th November signalled the beginning of the Water Tech Trade Mission hosted in Cape Town. This 3-day event was kicked off by the Western Cape Department of Economic Opportunities MEC, Alan Winde, who stressed the importance of partnerships to come up with solutions to urban challenges such as the current drought crisis in his province. The Deputy Director-General for Foreign Economic Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands, Guido Landheer, was also in attendance and spoke about the need for collaboration in order to build smart cities which would benefit residents. Royal HaskoningDHV’s Global Business Line Director Water, Anke Mastenbroek facilitated a roundtable discussion on the Water Chain with Royal HaskoningDHV’s Hennie Erwee presenting the company’s Aquasuite® range of products that benefit the entire water chain, solid model based forecasting and control software to enhance the operational performance of water systems.

The third event, the 2nd Future Mobility Roundtable, delved into the issue of mobility and the future of transportation on the continent. This was organized by the Mobility Centre for Africa (MCA) which is an initiative of TT Projects and Royal HaskoningDHV, borne out of a need to start a dialogue on and plan for, the disruptive forces that are shaping the transport industry. It is a non-profit company (NPC) and its objective is to bring together stakeholders such as government entities, industry and academia to collaborate on finding future proof solutions to some of the country’s major challenges such as road crashes, congestions, emissions, legislative requirements and affordability of transport. 

In his opening address, Royal HaskoningDHV Director for Transport & Planning Africa and MCA founding Director, Duncan Mason said the 2nd Future Mobility Roundtable was important for sharing information and helping shape the direction Africa should be taking with regard to ensuring transport infrastructure meets the needs of ongoing technological developments in the transport industry, particularly Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs). 

“MCA’s vision is to act as facilitator to bring government and the private sector together to address the critical needs in the development of efficient and safe transport infrastructure for the continent. We need to harness the technological advances in this field and co-create viable solutions to shape the future of smart and sustainable mobility in South Africa and beyond.” said Mason. 

Enabling the transition to smart and sustainable mobility 

Last year in the Netherlands Royal HaskoningDHV undertook a successful test with more than fifty semi-autonomous vehicles, demonstrating the latest developments in the transition towards self-driving vehicles. The positive impact of this technology could be huge in reducing the number of road accidents.

In September this year, Royal HaskoningDHV announced that it will transition to 100% electric vehicles (EVs). The company recently became a member of The Climate Group EV100 initiative committed to EVs. Under EV100, the company has committed its leased fleets and service contracts, and is supporting the uptake of EVs by its 6,000 staff and customers in over 150 countries.

Royal HaskoningDHV’s Flowtack was recently awarded an Annual Engineering Prize for i’s innovative approach to smart digital traffic management. Thanks to real-time information traffic can be optimally regulated with Flowtack continuously aligning supply and demand. The impact of this digital innovation on urban traffic is considerable: the city becomes cleaner, safer and more accessible. The Municipality of Deventer is the first municipality in the Netherlands where Flowtack will be implemented from January 2018.